6 weeks into Meatless Mondays……..are you still hanging in there?? Meatless Monday’s have actually become second nature to me and writing my Monday blogs helps me to prepare for my meatless feast. I tend to overcook on Monday and so I end up eating vegetarian all day Tuesday as well! I’m not complaining! Especially around this time of year, I gravitate towards more vegetables anyhow. So…let’s get on with a delicious meatless recipe using one of my favorite ingredients, Quinoa!

Southwestern Quinoa
This recipe has the right amount of heat and great texture! Quinoa is truly a nutritional powerhouse, containing potassium, magnesium, folate, fiber and a balance of essential amino acids making it an unusually complete protein source among plant foods! Best of all, this super grain is Gluten Free!! Yippeee!

Ingredients

1/2 poblano pepper
1/2 red bell pepper
1 small crookneck squash
4 large garlic cloves
1 cup boiling water
6 sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely sliced green onions
1 cup cooked blacked beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup minced cilantro leaves
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Directions

Roast the poblano and bell peppers, squash, and garlic on a baking sheet at 350 for 20 minutes, then peel and finely chop them (you don’t need to peel the squash). Pour the boiling water over the sun-dried tomatoes and soak for 10-15 minutes. Drain and finely chop after rehydrating.
Place the quinoa in an ultra-fine strainer and run under water. (If the strainer isn’t fine enough, the quinoa may slip through the holes.)
In a medium saucepan, mix together the quinoa, vegetable broth, chili powder, cumin, and oregano (rub between fingers to release flavor); bring to a boil over high heat, then turn to low heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the grain has soaked up the broth. Meanwhile, place pine nuts on a roast pan and slightly toast in the oven for 4-5 minutes at 300. Remove quinoa from the burner and place in an appropriate-sized bowl; toss with olive oil. Immediately add all other ingredients, including the roasted vegetables, and pine nuts, and toss. Serve warm.

Enjoy!

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